Glimpses & Glimmers

So for the past month I’ve been posting pictures instead of words.

(Spain got your tongue?)

I have been living here for five months. I have put down some roots, tied down my edges, and other roots have curled their way out of the ground to link me here before I realize it.

I recognize people on the street.
The greek waiter knows how I like my coffee, accompanying it with increasingly larger bits of pastry.
I often wake up speaking Spanish in my head.
The number of people who think I am Spanish increases, which I take as a compliment.
When people ask me for directions, I can answer.
My native tongue is disintegrating. In English I speak almost exclusively in Spanish cognates, even to native speakers.

I am accustomed to the dry earth and the waxy leaves the size of my hands, littering slick stone outside my door.
I am accustomed to the clatter of shutters opening in the morning, and to the real bells,
and to the light scattered from bedsheets billowing in sunshine.
I am addicted to tangerines – skin picked off in ragged spirals, citrus glow lighting up between my teeth.

The dramatic shifts and contrasts sometimes fray my connections with time or place or relevance.
Yesterday while walking down a street I had never seen before, I cried about something that happened years and years ago.
(Suddens storms coming in unexpectedly across the sea.)

I’m getting accustomed to beauty – and not just the little pieces of it I have collected for years.
(Sunrise over concrete expanses of highway, clean lines of scissors,
or the bottomless wells of beauty in my students’ eyes.)
Here I am drowning in new textures and scents and colors.

I’m worried I’ll lose track of the beauty in 6am highways or streets shuttered up in plywood, and of other abilities as well:

the ability to work endless days on a few hours of sleep,
the ability to write or even speak legibly in any language,
the ability to live inland,
the ability to shake hands,
the ability to drive a car,
the ability to wear a warm coat,
the ability to tip, to kiss, to dress business casual,
the ability to connect with people who have known me for more than five months.

This year isn’t easy, but I know better.
I know that I will look back at this year through golden light,
candles flickering, the scent of oranges,
far from some midwestern winter.

So for now words fail me and my voice creaks itself silent.
Lick lips, stuck shut.
Lacking stories (or rather, the tongue to tell them) I only have glimpses.

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7 Responses to Glimpses & Glimmers

  1. Anon says:

    mmm, love your post.

  2. Chelsea says:

    what do you say when “inspiration” is too small a word?
    the trees tunnel, the blue cup, reflections…so i just breathe in, as if i can somehow inhale the screen. 🙂

  3. marie kennedy says:

    Lovely. All of it.

  4. Wendy Kennedy says:

    speechless. I love you.

  5. maureen says:

    You are beautiful. An amazing writer, an amazing person, an amazing photographer. Thanks for sharing you!

  6. Andrew says:

    Beautiful. I hope that the raw experience continues to get into your marrow and stays there.

  7. Anna Marouf says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I miss you, I know this is an old entry, but I’m behind on your blog. I miss you.

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